Sayre of Sayre Smiles is in the driver’s seat this Fun Monday. She wants to know about our cars: What was your first car? Which was your favorite car? And what are you driving now – and why?
First of all, I didn’t start driving until I was in my 30s. The bus service was good, and as long as I knew the schedules, I could get wherever I was going on time. Then I started working at a job on the other side of town. I needed to be outside and ready to catch the bus at 5:15 a.m. in order to get to work by 7:30. If I drove, it would take me less than 20 minutes. I took lessons and bought my first car, a 1985 Ford Tempo. Blue, very pretty. But also very troublesome after the first year. The power steering constantly leaked. The alternator belt broke at least once a month for awhile. Worse, it started stalling.
The Tempo got traded in for a white Geo Metro 2-door hatchback, about a year old at the time. I loved that car. I couldn’t drive in the city with the air conditioning on because it would overheat, and it was pretty no-frills, but I had no more trouble than average. I had that car for five years, until some idiot ran a stop sign and totalled it. It was a warm summer day, and there were a lot of witnesses who saw it was the other guy’s fault. I was pretty out of it and wasn’t sure what happened, but I recovered.
This brings me to the car I still own, the only one I purchased brand-new–my 1997 Ford Aspire. Two doors, bright red hatchback. Even after more than 12 years, it still gets great gas mileage, runs more often than not, and repairs still cost less than monthly payments. Even though my last major repair cost almost–never mind. Someday I’ll have to look for another car, I suppose, but not yet. When it starts leaving a trail of gears and belts behind as I drive, maybe.